ST. PETERSBURG -- If the Orioles are going to continue to march up the standings in the American League East and Wild Card races, they'll need to do exactly what they did on Monday. A strong start from Kevin Gausman, a big night from Adam Jones, and most spectacularly, some highlight-reel defense from Manny Machado propelled Baltimore to a 5-0 win against the reeling Rays at Tropicana Field.
With the game scoreless in the bottom of the first, Evan Longoria hit a ball down the third-base line. Machado ranged to his right to field the ball, making a tremendous throw while falling in the opposite direction. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop made the difficult turn at second and threw out Longoria to end the inning.
"Manny made a couple plays. Nobody takes them for granted; they're so hard," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He's one of the few guys who can make them."
Gausman held the Rays' offense in check, and Jones gave the Orioles all the offense they needed early before they broke open the game with a three-run eighth.
The Rays (51-49), who are currently in third place in the American League East in front of the fourth-place Orioles (48-51), now have the Orioles creeping up from behind.
Gausman allowed five hits and three walks over six innings to pick up his seventh win of the season. He has made two starts against the Rays this season and has not allowed a run in 13 innings.
Just like the last time he faced Tampa Bay, Gausman stifled Rays hitters by expanding the zone high with his fastball and changing their eye level with low splitters.
"When I'm able to do that, I can be pretty tough, especially on left-handed hitters when I have my split in my back pocket, too," Gausman said. "They swung at a lot of pitches that were out of the strike zone, but that's what we were trying to do, so those are executed pitches."
Jones gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead when he hit a 1-2 fastball from Blake Snell into the left-field stands, giving the Orioles slugger 19 home runs for the season.
Machado had a two-run single in the eighth against new Rays reliever Sergio Romo and Jonathan Schoop added a sacrifice fly to push the lead to 4-0.
Snell made the longest appearance of his brief Major League career, facing two batters in the eighth before Romo took over. The second-year southpaw allowed three earned runs on six hits and a walk while striking out four, but got tagged with the loss to move to 0-6 on the season.
"Probably the best performance we've seen from [Snell] this season," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
"I was really challenging the hitters and I was proud about that," Snell said. "I've been trying to do that for some time."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Jones goes deep: Jones stepped into the batter's box with one out in the third and proceeded to watch Snell's curveball and slider, then swung at a changeup to move the count to 1-2. Then came the 95 mph fastball and Jones was ready, depositing the baseball 411 feet into the left-field stands. According to Statcast™, Jones' barreled ball had a 100.7-mph exit velocity with a 28-degree launch angle, and gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead.
Machado delivers: Holding a 1-0 lead, the Orioles' first two hitters in the eighth reached base on singles to chase Snell. Romo then entered the game, making his first Rays appearance since the team acquired the right-hander Saturday night. Jones greeted him with a single to load the bases for Machado, who promptly hit Romo's first pitch back through the middle to drive home two and give the Orioles some separation.
• Rays catcher Ramos struck in head with broken bat, exits game
"Yeah, don't hit it to him. Just avoid Manny at all costs. It's a highlight reel every night. He's a special player."
-- Cash, when asked about Machado's defense
"I don't think there's any third baseman and second baseman that roll that double play the way that they did. You feel really comfortable with those guys out there. Obviously Manny's going to run down the line and try to get any ball that he can try to put a glove on."
-- Gausman, on Machado's first-inning double play
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Rays went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and have hit .128/.244/.154 (5-for-39) with RISP during their five-game losing streak.
Orioles: Wade Miley (4-8, 5.58) will try again to find his groove Tuesday against the Rays in St. Petersburg at 7:10 p.m. ET. Miley has a 10.03 ERA over his last nine starts and has not thrown more than 5 2/3 innings since June 1.
Rays:Jacob Faria (4-1, 2.52) gets the nod Tuesday against the Orioles. The rookie will be facing Baltimore for a third time, the only team he's faced more than once. He is 0-0 with a 3.55 ERA in his two quality starts against the O's.
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